Thursday, July 17, 2008

This is back when kids went on dates. Waaay back when.

Apropos of the B-team YA novel series thought the other day:

YA Novel Series That I Read as a Yute, Which, Frankly, Really Could’ve Been Time Better Spent Otherwise, but Then I Wouldn’t Have These Golden Memories

Swept Away: This girl figures out how to travel in time. TIME TRAVEL!!! Like, with her own home computer (something about time being the fourth dimension?). She chooses as her first destination – and what more perfect confluence of my two main obsessions could there ever have been? – the antebellum South. Ho shit. Of course she learns all these valuable lessons and stuff. The other books in the series involve her sending her friends one by one to: the 1950s, the 1960s, and the 1930s (that was a good one – the girl becomes a movie starlet). (Shut up, it was.)

Cheerleaders: Um, a bunch of high school cheerleaders and their misadventures. The prettiest cheerleader, Mary Ellen, is so po’ she can’t afford soda from the machine but she lies like a rug to keep anyone from knowing that, and a couple years down the line, marries fellow cheerleader and rich a-hole Preston; there’s this coach (an obvious dyke, though they never say it outright) called Ardith Engborg (GOD, why does my brain store this info and lose all that trig?); the handsomest guy is Patrick, cousin of Preston, and is a garbageman. Lessons are learned, and whatnot.

Class of 88: Four friends start a newly-built high school as freshmen. Each book of the four covers one year and focuses mostly on one of them. Celia, Nick … oh hell, who are the other two? Anyway, actually not that bad a series. They don’t all stick together the whole time, either. But Nick and what’s-her-face get together in the end (very satisfying, I must say); he’s a writer, she’s a jock, they happen to be heading to the same college, she’s the only one who gets him and understands the pain of his parents’ divorce.

A series of standalone teen romance novels with titles like PS I Love You. There are kisses, but no one ever Does It, and there’s always some sort of love triangle that resolves itself by the end. I can still remember exactly where these hardback books were shelved in the junior-high library.

A series of standalone HISTORICAL teen romance novels, in which the protagonist is always front and center at some historical event or moment, sorta like Forrest Gump – she works in the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory and survives the fire; she’s sailing on the Titanic and gets a spot in a lifeboat; she’s a millworker in a New England garment factory in 1842, etc.

Less a series than a grouping, or a hard little cluster of malfunctioning cells: those Lurlene McDaniel serious-to-fatal illness books, which were the thinking girl’s gateway into health paranoia (a service provided to today’s teens by Dr. Google). Some girl just like you was obsessing about boys and grades and stuff, and then she felt kind of weird one day (a cough, a swollen gland, lightheadedness, take your pick) and the next day, BOOM! Cancer. Or diabetes. Or scoliosis. Sample (actual) title: I’ll Never Dance Again.

SVH: No need to explain this one, I trust? Don’t deny it. You were there.

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5 Comments:

Blogger Princess Sparkle Pants said...

PS I Love You is part of the Sweet Dreams collection, if memory serves. You forgot to mention that the protagonist is usually a ballet star who coaches the shy, uncool girl in her garage... My God, the good times. Thanks for that!

5:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

kids now a days need to learn to just say no. I mean I was a kid and I did so that is exactly why NOW kids need to NOT do it... does this sound familiar do as I say not as I do. I mean I got 12yr olds being asked if they have condoms? Like any 12 yr old should would could ewe gross. and 15yr olds doin it. I wish they had a little SVH to occupy their horny heads.

6:50 AM  
Blogger Gleemonex said...

Yeah, the worst thing SVH ever did was set up unrealistic expectations about how awesome it would be to be sixteen ...

PSP: Sweet Dreams -- auuugh!

9:15 AM  
Blogger Panda!!!! said...

Did the 1930s time-traveler really become a starlet? I think they should have thrust her into poverty, living in a shanty-town and trying to uplift the country through working on a WPA project.

11:33 AM  
Anonymous Traceace75 said...

Isn't that the premise of that dumb Paris /Nicole reality show?

2:09 PM  

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